I’m going to start this post by making a major assumption. If you’re at the point where you’re looking to achieve your nonprofit’s marketing goals, I’m going to assume that you’ve already developed some stellar ones. If you haven’t, it’s time to pump the brakes for a moment.
If you don’t have those goals set just yet, no worries. We’ve got you covered. Just take a few minutes to check out our recent post on setting strong marketing goals for nonprofits. Don’t worry. We’ll keep this post ready for you.
If you already have your goals solidified, great! Let’s jump into developing a plan to turn them into a reality.
Prioritize Your Goals
The first step in actually achieving your marketing goals is to prioritize them. While all of them are important, there are likely one or two goals that are more important.
You can certainly make the less important goals a priority at times, but in general you’ll want to remember which one or two goals should be front and center. When it comes to deciding between which goal to dedicate time and resources to (which it likely will at some point), it’s helpful to know the relative importance of each.
Determine How You’ll Measure and Track Each Goal
In our previous post we talked about the importance of creating quantifiable goals and setting each in a timeframe. Now it’s time to take it a step further and actually determine how you’ll collect data. If you can’t get accurate data, you’ll never know whether or not you’re actually achieving your goal.
Start with the measurement tools you have at your disposal. This could involve a donor management system or accounting software to analyze revenue numbers. It’ll likely involve a website analytics tool (like Google Analytics) to measure visitor behavior on your site. Whatever the case, make sure you’re answering these key questions for each goal:
- What measurement tool(s) will you need to get good data?
- Where will you store this data?
- How often will you review, share with others, and adjust your plan?
Once you have a plan for measurement, it’s time to develop your plan of attack.
Tie Marketing Resources to Each Goal
For many marketers, this is where the goal setting phase starts to really get fun. Now it’s time to figure out how you’re going to achieve each goal.
While it’s hard to say exactly what you should do without knowing your goals and organization, process-wise I recommend tackling each goal individually, at least at first. Think about what marketing channels you have available to help you reach your goal. Maybe it’s creating strong calls to action on your website. Or publishing authoritative resources. Or leveraging your email or social media marketing. Perhaps it’ll take a combination of channels working together to drive towards a goal.
Once you’ve detailed how you’ll use each channel, assign a point person to each element of actually doing the work. If you’re a team of one, this shouldn’t take too long. If you have a marketing team, determine who will be responsible for each element of this process. Having a point person will not only boost accountability, but also increase your team’s ownership over actually working to achieve these goals.
If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, I’d encourage you to consider developing a full-blown marketing strategy. While a marketing strategy can increase the likelihood you’ll ultimately achieve your goals, you don’t necessarily need one in order to move this process forward.
Use Our Strategy Template
Download our nonprofit marketing strategy template to create your own strategy, unique to your nonprofit’s goals, capacity and audience. Find a customizable template strategy for the common goals, like building awareness, increasing donations and boosting volunteers, all organized by marketing channel.
Get To It
It’s great to have a plan. But at the end of the day, your plan isn’t worth more than the paper it’s printed on unless you actually execute it. Once you get to this point in the process, it’s time to get started with actually doing the work.
Some people spend months in the safety of planning because getting out there means risking failure. But that’s where those regular adjustments to the plan come in. Don’t be afraid of trying new approaches. If it doesn’t work, you’ll know pretty quickly and can change course.
I know it’s a tremendous cliché, but remember, it’s only a failure if you don’t learn anything from it. Which brings us to…
Review and Adjust
Take note of what works and keep doing it. Learn from what doesn’t work and adjust your course to move in a more beneficial direction.
We typically recommend collecting data monthly and analyzing it quarterly. You can obviously change this schedule based on your goals and the amount of data you have to draw on, but we’ve found this timing to work pretty well for many organizations.
And make sure you’re involving your team at least quarterly to discuss progress, successes and areas for adjustment. Since they’re doing the work, they should be heavily involved in the process of setting and reviewing goals.
Finally, be sure to actually take time to celebrate successes. It’s easy to get caught up in what isn’t working as well as you’d like it to and dive into what you can do to improve it. But take time to celebrate with your team everything that’s going right. You’ve likely worked hard and achieved far more than you realize. Take the time to enjoy it.
Have any questions about achieving your nonprofit’s marketing goals? Or any other thoughts on what you’ve found to be helpful in doing so? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.